Justin Summers says he just wanted to express his irritation at being tailgated. Instead, he was followed and then shot.
On the evening of Dec. 2, Summers, 33, was shot in an apparent case of road rage that ended in the middle of the 500 block of Benson Road in Garner. He survived a bullet that entered his chest near the base of the right side of his neck and exited near his left armpit.
“If there’s a guy in Garner just shooting people, Garner should know about it so people can be more careful,” Summers said. “I don’t want the same thing to happen to somebody else.”
Garner police confirmed the shooting. Lt. Wayne Moore said a man in a white car shot Summers at 8:45 p.m. He said the case is being investigated as an aggravated assault, but he declined to provide or confirm further details, citing an ongoing investigation.
Moore said Garner police do not think the shooting has any connection to a shooting about 47 hours before and less than a mile away, at an apartment complex on the 500 block of Johnson Street. Latoya McNeil, 31, was shot and killed while her mother Angela Harding, 48, was wounded in front of their apartment complex. Two men fled on foot; no arrests have been made.
Summers’ incident started on eastbound U.S. 70 when he says an older-model white Chevy Impala tailgated him for “a good mile or so” as he headed home from work. Initially, he thought it might be a police car. He pulled into the exit lane that feeds into Aversboro Road. Upon seeing it wasn’t police, Summers said, he moved back onto U.S. 70 from the exit lane and charged up behind the Impala.
Both cars exited toward Benson Road. Summers said he pulled into the center lane to let the car pass, but the Impala stopped in the road alongside his car.
The man in the other car then shot him, Summers said.
The bullet tore through mostly fatty tissue and missed all vital organs and blood vessels. Summers said after a battery of tests he was released from the hospital before midnight. The worst complication was a minor infection. Summers acknowledged that he was very lucky and worries that the next person might not be.
“He’s going to do it again if he’s brazen enough to shoot someone in the middle of highway 50,” he said.